Functional compatibility risk and consumer preference for product bundles

Abstract

The authors report the results of an experiment examining the effect of functional compatibility risk on consumer’ preference for product bundles vis-à-vis separate items. In a laboratory experiment, 90 undergraduate business students were asked to choose bundled or unbundled stereo equipment after reading product information that either did or did not prime fears of functional compatibility risk. The results indicate that heightening the salience of functional compatibility risk may be a practical way for marketers to increase consumer’ choice of bundled products, particularly among consumers who are more uncertain of their product knowledge.

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Correspondence to Judy Harris.

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Judy Harris (jharris@bus.ucf.edu) is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Central Florida. She received her doctorate from the University of Houston. Her work has been published in theJournal of Retailing, theJournal of Advertising Research, theJournal of Consumer Research, theJournal of Applied Social Psychology, Psychology & Marketing, and other publications.

Edward A. Blair (blair@uh.edu) is a professor and chair in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. He is the author of several books, along with numerous research papers that have been published in journals such as theJournal of Marketing, theJournal of Marketing Research, theJournal of Consumer Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has served on the editorial boards of theJournal of Marketing Research, theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and theJournal of Business Research.

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Harris, J., Blair, E.A. Functional compatibility risk and consumer preference for product bundles. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 34, 19–26 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070305281708

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Keywords

  • bundling
  • priming
  • functional risk
  • performance risk
  • knowledge uncertainty